Fukushima babies’ teeth to be tested for radiation exposure

holding hands

© Photo: Flickr.com/■ Guerry/cc-by

Source: Voice of Russia

A new five-year study aimed at gauging radiation levels in teeth of the babies, who were living in Fukushima Prefecture when the fatal meltdown at the nuclear power plant occurred in Japan in March 2011, has been recently launched by a local dental association.

Dentists hope to collect 4,000 fallen out or pulled teeth in order to measure concentrations of exposure to radioactive strontium and cesium and determine the health effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Radiation which tends to accumulate in baby teeth without metabolizing allows researchers to take more accurate measurements of radiation levels.

The project carried out by the Fukushima Prefecture Dental Association and supported by the Environment Ministry, is to become the first in Japan to use teeth for analyzing radiation exposure.

The dental groups expect parents to bring the baby teeth of their children for an examination. The results of the study will be both announced at academic conferences for the discussion and individually passed along to those who donated teeth.

The association also intends to carry out a comparative study of baby teeth from children residing outside of Fukushima Prefecture and ask their colleagues from other regions for help in the project.

Voice of Russia, ajw.asahi.com/